tv Worldfocus WHUT December 28, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
or basiji heads. >> that could be used against the protestors to justify a heavier crackdown. >> yes. i think part of the strategy of the regime is to say we're using force because the opposition is using force. they are fire bombing, they are throwing molotov cocktails and so on, so we have to do the same. in a way, the use of violence by the opposition plays into th hands of the regime. >> a number of the members of the political opposition were arrested today. what do you make of that? >> well, it's part of the strategy that has been going on for the last six months that you try to isolate the main leaders mousavi by detaining people, their advisers. so they have gone one more step
further, arrested closer advisers. it is significant they still haven't dared to arrest either mousavi or karabi. >> do you believe we're at a critical moment, a turning point in this altercation? >> i think the critical moment will be when we see the actual strikes. when civil service or the banks or the oil workers, or the large installations like steel mills, when workers there, and civil servants go on strike. that would be, you can say, the end of the regime. but so far, the protests have been very restricted to the streets. if you look back at '79, the regime wasn't brought down just by demonstrations. it was brought down by general strikes. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we want to know what you think about the situation in iran. our question tonight, what if anything do you think the obama
administration should do to encourage the opposition movement in iran? tell us what you think by visiting the how you see it section of our website. of course, at worldfocus.org. a new warning about iran's nuclear program. israel's defense minister ehud barak said today iran will have the technology to build a nuclear bomb early next year and will be able to produce a bomb in 2011. earlier they said he would be ready for a technological breakthrough that would enable it to build nuclear weapons. meanwhile there is also news about israel's controversial settlement policy. the israeli government announced today that it will build nearly 700 new apartments in east jerusalem despite the objections of the obama administration and the palestinian authorities. the palestinians claim east jerusalem is the capital of any future palestinian state. the palestinian housing minister denounced the israeli decision. from pakistan, word of yet
another deadly terror blast. this one aimed at shiite muslims observing that muslim holiday ashura. a live television broadcast captured the explosion as id happened in pakistan's largest city, karachi. the bombing killed at least 25 people and injured several dozen more. terror attacks have intensified throughout pakistan since the government launched an offensive against the taliban there. in neighboring afghanistan, president hamid karzai said today that ten civilians including eight students have been killed in what was believed to be a nato air strike. he called for an immediate investigation. the incident occurred in kunar province in eastern afghanistan. as part of the new strategy, the administration has called reducing civilian casualties a major priority.
al qaeda today claimed responsibility for the failed christmas day attempt to bring down a northwest airlines jetliner with 289 people on board. it is said the attempted bombing was in retaliation for attacks against al qaeda members last week and the week before in yemen. several dozen al qaeda members reportedly were killed in those attacks. american officials feared that yemen is becoming haven for al qaeda. and there are new developments in the investigation of the accused would-be bomber umar farouk abdulmutallab who first boarded the plane in nigeria carrying explosives. authorities there say that they are instituting tougher screening procedures and there are reports tonight the 23-year-old attended school for seven months earlier this year in the united arab emirates. but much of the investigation is focused in london where the young nigerian may have been radicalized. our report from jackie from britain's itn. >> reporter: as airport securities tightened around the world, investigations into
whether umar farouk abdulmutallab planned his attack in britain continues. there were claims he spent time at the east london mosque where radical muslim clerics preached. and his family today said they had lost contact with him while he studied abroad which they said was out of character. it has now emerged in may he was refused a new student visa for a bogus uk college which rang alarm bells with security agencies. >> he automatically went onto our watch list and got into this country. where he was radicalized, whether he was part of a wider plot, that's all the subje o the intensive inquiries that the americans in particular are making at the moment and that the uk's security services and the police are helping them with. >> reporter: the would-be bomber managed to pass undetected through the amsterdam airport with his bomb-making materials. security there has been stepped up with passengers being asked to step through controversial full-body scan othera voluntary basis.
the european parliament voted against the compulsory use of the scanners last year over concerns of passenger privacy but most people weren't objecting. >> i think it's good. i think they check you completely and your luggage. so i think it's good, actually. >> it's very important for everybody's security. so everybody has to be patient. >> reporter: a second scare on a detroit flight last night turned out to be a false alarm after it emerged a nigerian man who had locked himself in the toilet had just been taken ill. passengers traveling to the u.s. are being warned of long delays and president obama has demanded a full security review, asking how a man already on a terrorist watch list was allowed to carry explosives onto a plane. itv news. >> the airline incident has heightened the debate that has raged across europe for years about the relationship between muslim immigrants and native europeans. and nowhere is that debate more intense than in france where the government is now sponsoring a
series of town hall meetings to discuss national identity. the question as npr put it this morning, what does it mean to be french? especially if you are an observant muslim. that's the focus of the following report by our german partner deutsche vela. >> reporter: women in full-body veils are creating a turmoil in france. this is where the debate first flared up in a suburb of lyon. some say veils have no place in modern french society. others feel differently. >> i don't understand. where are all the women who are supposed to be a threat to the identity of the republic? >> reporter: only a minority of the muslims in france hide their entire faces with veils. but are these women obscuring themselves voluntarily? or do they feel forced to do so? this is a vital question. because france sees itself as a staunch defender of human rights
and individual freedom. emma says her conversion to islam is also a freedom. >> i want this. you would have to force me to take it off. that would be restricting my freedom. >> reporter: many people don't fully believe this, especially human rights leaders fighting for opportunities for young women from immigrant families. >> translator: women are buried alive in a burqa. people laugh at them when they cross the street. they are turned into objects of ridicule. >> reporter: the veil has become a symbol in a debate that now revolves around the issue of what it means to be french. the government is encouraging a discussion on a website which asks that very question. >> it means to respect family values. to respect other people. unfortunately these days there isn't much respect for others. >> translator: national identity for us immigrants. this is big a question mark.
>> reporter: the conflict between religion and state becomes clear at the municipal building. >> translator: for example, problems arise when we have to issue an identity card. people come in here with a passport photo but how can i tell if it is them when their faces are veiled. i refuse to issue the documents. >> reporter: so the debate in france continues. the government plans to release the preliminary results of its internet survey on french identity at the end of january. a few items from asia about human rights got our attention today. in days you missed it, christmas day, a leading chinese dissident was sentenced to 11 years in prison on subversion charges. he had campaigned for political reform and urged an end to communist party rule. after the sentencing, his wife said leo hopes he is the last one charge the with a crime in china for practicing freedom of expression. in neighboring vietnam,
another political dissident was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison also on subversion charges. the former army officer had published pro-democracy articles on the internet and joined an organization ttes a multi-party state. authorities said they did not press for the death sentence because of the former army officer's distinguished military record. and one note from new zealand. despite the best efforts of vacationers and conservationists, about 125 whales died this weekend after getting stranded on the beach there. scientists are at a loss to explain why the whales came ashore but say it isot uncommon as they travel from antarctic waters to their breeding grounds. several dozen whales were saved and later swam out to sea.
tonight we want to take you beyond the headlines and look once again at the issue of piracy around the globe. yesterday 25 sailors aboard a chinese cargo ship were set free off the coast of somalia after pirates who seized them were reportedly paid a $4 million ransom. it wasn't so long ago the hijaing of ships and multimillion-dollar ransom were in the news several times a month. not anymore. what has happened to change all that? my colleague daljit dhaliwal interviewed maritime writer and consultant barry parker last week and asked him if the attacks have actually stopped. >> well, the frequency of attacks is probably up a little bit. it doesn't grab the headlines. the things that have changed, they've gone farther out. now some of the attacks are a thousand miles out. they're closer to india than somalia. i think what i would say is it has become a lot of business as usual in the shipping industry. they've figured out how to cope with it. >> what do you mean by business as usual?
>> well, the vessels have gotten better equipped. there has been much more publicity with some of the high-profile attacks. their standard procedures or recommendations, what to do to avoid an attack. and the other thing is the insurance industry has really figured out exactly how to apportion the costs and how to handle these situations. so each one of them is not a brand new event. >> what did the pirates end up costing the ships in terms of higher insurance premium rates? >> well, there is a mechanism in insurance called the war risk insurance. that gets a lot of it. that can be something like $50,000, $100,000 maybe on a voyage. but of course, that's different from the ransom. the ransoms are in the range of $3 million and $4 million. that's kind of like we were talking about in the spring. >> so is piracy then no longer a major threat?
>> well, as long as there is not a loss of life, again, the words business as usual. it's part of the process. people can protect against it better but it's still -- it's still a danger. another thing that might have changed is west africa is attracting a lot more attention. off the coast of nigeria. it was always an unsettled area. there have been more attacks lately and in fact, there was a high-profile case where a ship's officer was killed. this is within the past six weeks. >> why is nigeria attractive to pirates? >> it is an oil loading area so there are tankers there full of oil that's now gone up in price. so at $80 a barrel it's more attractive than it was when it was $30 a barrel. >> right. and briefly, how many crew and how many vessels are still being held and what is the status of the negotiations to free people who are being held by pirates? >> right now, you know, there are not precise numbers but
people talk about 15 vessels, maybe 20 are being held at this point. and you're talking maybe about 250, 300 people that are the seafarers being held hostage. >> reporter: all right. thank you very much. >> thank you for having me on. as we've often said, part of our mission here at "worldfocus" is to take it to the world that gets little attention in this country. and to show you glimpses of life you just don't often see. we take our final story tonight about psychiatric care in india, or the lack of it, fits the bill. it comes to us from mark sheffler and our partners at "global post." >> reporter: this man has a problem. he is convinced an evil spirit is trying to strangle him so he
has come to this town an hour and a half outside delhi. here on the grounds of a temple he found someone he hopes can help him. a wild eyed faith healer. named sadoran. he claims to be channeling a deity that will expel the demon from his life. >> translator: my mind is not working. someone is trying to strangle me. to suffocate me. >> reporter: for many indians, places like these are all that's available when it comes to solving what might otherwise be called a mental health problem. in india, the chronic shortage of psychiatrists has become a glaring issue, even as the country makes great economic strides. by some counts tre are only 4,000 psychiatrists countrywide to treat indians who suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. the chief psychiatrist at max super specialty hospital in delhi sees 40 patients a day to keep up with demand. >> we are almost 300% short.
of psychiatrists. based on the population required. and most of these psychiatrists are in urban india. what happens when you start going to the rural areas? since accessibility becomes more. stigma becomes more. then all these voodoo things and faith healers and self-healing. >> reporter: beyond the issue of stigma, the poor often don't have access to doctors and more well-healed enclaves psychiatric treatment isn't covered by insurance. and then there is a matter of blamg not sibs but the spirit world for one's mental state. >> i don't think something is you. if you're not doing well, it may be the past things from the current life, it may be past things from a past life. >> reporter: to address the shortage of psychiatric care in delhi, he helps run a street clinic in a deeply impoverished part of the city. last year he got the case by case legal authority to inject
anti-psychotic medicines on the sidewalks into those with no families and those who aren't mentally stable enough to give consent for themselves. shiv is one such person. the doctor said he has shown signs of improvement in the four months he's been receiving medication.>> an experiment doie street. we thought it is a better idea to get treatment here where people are, rather than getting people to the hospital. >> that meaningful smile is such a reward. >> reporter: psychiatry is gaining credibility among other medical professionals who for years thought talk therapies and antidepressants didn't work. that acceptance could eventually boost the ranks of practitioners here. meanwhile, traditional methods endure. back at the temple, the faith healer seems to have helped a couple that claims they are no
longer suffering from depression. >> translator: when we came to this place, we were helped by this man. we were treated. >> reporter: while science may balk at calling this a cure, he believes faith healing can be a legitimate form of therapy among a population that desperately needs help. >> to help reach the common person. it is not reaching the comn person. who is reaching the common person? the faith healer is reaching it. don't tell him, you'reolish, i'm a great doctor, i've studied all these years, i understand your neuro transmitters and brain chemistries. all you are talking about is some breathing exercises and some rituals. >> reporter: in places like this, and throughout india, the goal of integrating local superstitions with big city medical practices seems every bit as elusive as the spirits that still haunt the unhealed.
>> mark sheffler of "global post." that's "worldfocus" this monday night. you can visit our website where you can find more international news and drop us a line. at worldfocus.org. i'll look for you back here tomorrow night. until then, good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com major support for "worldfocus" has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters --